Iowa Senator Introduces Bill on Stanford Band Controversy

Photograph by David Madison — Getty Images

After the Stanford band’s halftime performance at the 2016 Rose Bowl, which made fun of Iowa’s agricultural history, angered both Iowa fans and Rose Bowl officials, an Iowa senator has taken measures to summon a public apology.

Senator Mark Chelgren introduced a bill on Wednesday that would ban any partnership between Stanford and University of Iowa, Iowa State or Northern Iowa until an apology is issued for the performance.

“The state board of regents shall prohibit any future collaboration or cooperation between the institutions of higher learning governed by the board and Stanford university, excluding sporting events, until Stanford university officials publicly apologize to Iowa’s citizens and to the university of Iowa for the unsporting behavior of the Leland Stanford junior university marching band,” the bill states.

However, the Des Moines Register reports that the chair of the Iowa Senate’s Education Committee disagrees with Chelgren‘s stance on the issue.

“Stanford University is one of the premier research universities in the world and for us to cut off contact with Stanford over something that happened on a football field I think sinks to a level that would be unworthy of our fine research institutions,” said Senator Herman Quirmbach, who is an economics professor at Iowa State.

Senator Robert Dvorsky, the chairman of the Iowa Senate Appropriations Committee voiced similar concerns over the bill, stating that he does not think the institution of Stanford University should be blamed.

This is not the first time the Stanford band has been criticized. Fans were also angry with the band’s Rose Bowl performances in 2013 and 2014.

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